Spider-Man’s got two dates to the prom – can he swing it?
Homecoming: a night of romance for some, but a night of sweaty and awkward dancing in a cramped gym for most. The pressure of getting a date and dressing up for the very first time can really get to you. Doesn’t matter if you’re the star football player, a straight-A student, or are freakishly mutated by an irradiated spider, as is the case for Queens native, Peter Parker.
Parker is your average teenage boy who has a genius-level scientific intellect and spider-themed powers. He’s got normal problems like most of us do. He has to juggle his school work with his social life, family responsibilities, and the constant looming threat of attack by a super-powered character with a personal vendetta against the teen. Parker, as his alter-ego, Spider-Man, has saved New York from numerous threats that have tested his physical and emotional stamina, but a new challenge proved to be the toughest yet.
Parker, who never considered himself very lucky in love, has found himself in quite the predicament. Despite expecting to spend homecoming distracting himself with a battle against vulture-themed bank robber, Parker was actually able to land himself a date. His lab partner and casual crush Liz Allen agreed to go to the dance in an awkward interaction that not even Parker could see coming with his precognitive spider-sense. While working on a chemistry assignment Allen accidently dropped a beaker full of a scalding hot chemical. Parker, reacting at superhuman speed, used his spider-webbing to grab the beaker and safely recover it to the table. Allen was shocked and confused so Parker quickly tried to distract her by asking her to the dance. Flustered and in the moment, Allen said yes.
Things got significantly more complicated however, when Parker found himself with a second date. While certainly interested in Allen, Parker has always had eyes for his next door neighbor, Mary Jane Watson. Initially too intimidated to ask her to the dance, Parker found himself confident one day while under his Spider-Man mask. The hero saved Watson from an attack on a Queens-bound subway by one of his less exciting foes, The Puma. After the encounter, Parker, as Spider-Man, asked Watson to the dance to which she said yes.
Now with two dates, one as Peter Parker and one as Spider-Man, this superhero will have to juggle two great responsibilities at once. The night started out simply enough. Parker picked up Allen from her house in his Aunt’s 1998 Saturn. The two were only a few blocks away from the high school when the engine broke down. Parker made several failed attempts to get the engine running by the time he looked at his watch and saw that he was almost late picking up his second date. Parker yelled to Allen that he was going to go get help as he ran into a dead-end alley towards a group of dumpsters. Allen, who by this point was only still on the date due to her suspicions as to Parker’s identity, followed Parker. But by the time she reached the alley, he was gone.
Flying a hundred feet in the air on superwebbing, Parker raced to Watson’s house. He was still in the process of changing into his Spider-Man costume when he arrived at her doorstep with only 5 seconds to spare. He knocked on the door while putting his mask on and Watson appeared. Spider-Man swung the two to the dance, arriving at the gymnasium moments after Allen, who walked the rest of the way from the car. Spider-Man walked in with Watson and his Spider-Sense went off. He turned and Allen was only a few feet away from him. He was reminded that he had left her at the car so took the opportunity to make it right. Offering to get Watson some punch, Spider-Man left her side and quickly ran out into the hallway where he quickly changed back into his hand-me-down formalwear.
The wall-crawler ran back into the gym, grabbed two cups of punch and walked over to Allen. He tried to excuse his behaviour, but before he could finish, Allen started throwing questions at him pertaining to his absence. Unable to explain how he disappeared from the alley or why clothes were all suddenly wrinkled, Parker grabbed Allen’s arm and brought her to the dance floor. Initially resistant to showing off his agility, Parker danced awkwardly next to Allen. As he saw her interest in him dying faster than Gwen Stacy, Parker decided to switch it up. He started performing backflips and used his superhuman strength to toss Allen in the air and catch her effortlessly. As he performed, the crowd of high school students began to circle up around them. Parker became distracted when he noticed Watson in the front of the crowd. In doing so he missed Allen, who he had tossed into the air, falling to the floor. He quickly ran over to her, apologizing for dropping her. He then promised to go get her ice, and ran back out into the hallway for another costume change.
Spider-Man returned back to Watson, who wondered where the punch he said he would get her was. Panicking, Spider-Man waited for a second for Watson to look away and grabbed another student’s cup with his webbing. Watson thanked him and the two began walking around the party. Suddenly remembering Allen and her injury. Spider-Man told Watson that he heard a supervillain outside and promised to be right back. He ran to the side of the gym and crawled up to the ceiling to get a better view. He located Allen, sitting alone on the bleachers with a bruised leg. He crawled across the ceiling of the gym and out into the hallway, changing once more.
Parker brought a cup of ice over to Allen and sat down with her. As he handed her the ice he realized he had forgotten to remove his Spider-Man glove. In panic he hid his hand behind his back.
Allen, at this point completely fed up with Parker’s behaviour asked him outright, “Are you Spider-Man?” Parker stood with a blank expression for at least 5 seconds before responding. He began to deny everything when his Spider-sense erupted. At that moment an 80-year-old man in a green bird costume flew through the gym window. Mass hysteria followed in the gym as Parker breathed a sigh of relief. He ran with Allen out of the gym, leaving her the small cup of melted ice. As she saw Parker run back into the gym she rolled her eyes and left. Now fully distracted by the task at hand, Parker quickly threw his mask on over his tux and began engaging the foe. All the while Watson was in the middle of the dance floor watching her date dance more with the flying bird man than he did with her.
The altercation only last a few minutes. Spider-Man pinned the Vulture to the basketball hoop, which collapsed moments later under his weight. Turns out the academically focused high school had yet to update their gym to current safety standards — that, and they didn’t really account for super-powered brawls between their students and elderly bird people. The falling captured villain nearly hit Watson. Spider-Man quickly pulled her away with his webbing but in doing so dislocated her shoulder. The clumsy hero apologized profusely and attempted to bring her to the hospital. However, as he was leaving Allen came storming back in. She reached for the mask on Spider-Man’s head and pulled it off. Parker reacted quickly, as he tends to do with super powers and all, and he grabbed a paper plate from a close-by table and held it over his face, concealing his identity. He backed away slowly from his two dates who were starting to put together his rouse. In a fit of panic he shot a blind fold of webbing over the two girl’s eyes and ran away. Police arrived at the scene a few minutes later and escorted the Vulture to prison. Parker escaped the dance unseen, however his two dates, after about 30 seconds of conversation, pieced together their stories, deducing Parker’s dual identity. They’re currently offering the information to the Daily Bugle newspaper for a $1000 reward. We’ve yet to hear if their offer will be received but the owner of the Bugle is known for being a stickler.
Edward Willshire is a second year philosophy major who’s never had two dates to the dance because he’s a good boy. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org .